A-G slams Gauteng health on consultants

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

The Auditor-General has issued a damning report on the Gauteng Health Department’s use of consultants.

It was tabled in the Gauteng Legislature last week and covers the period 2008-2011 when the department spent R4.6 billion on consultants.

The A-G audited 12 projects worth R1.4 billion, and criticises the department for incomplete records, not following a competitive procurement process, and not doing a needs and cost benefit analysis prior to appointing consultants.

His findings include the following:

  • R36 million paid for the pilot phase of a Health Smart Card, without the results being used for the main project.
  • Payment was made for five days training on the Health Smart Card project, but only one day of training was actually done.
  • A R30 million contract for a Local Area Network for clinics was awarded to the company with the lowest points in the tender process. The LAN was only implemented at 114 out of 134 sites, and computers were not available at some health facilities to make use of the LAN. The company was paid R1.4 million more than it should have been paid based on the percentage of work completed.
  • A consultant was appointed in 1998 to do asset management and verification, but documents on the tender bidding process and the contract itself could not be found. The consultant’s services were extended up to 2009, and was paid R19.6 million in total, but failed to verify 204 986 assets.
  • Service Level Agreements for nursing agencies were extended 12 times over a three-and-a-half-year period with no reasons provided for the extensions.
  • A consultant was paid R2 052 187 to build capacity among NGOs, but this payment was made without monitoring and evaluating the consultant’s performance and deliverables, as there were no objectives set in the contract.

This report shows the abysmal lack of controls in the department, which is why some of the projects have been referred to the Special Investigating Unit for investigation of possible corruption

Health care in Gauteng has suffered tremendously because of over-priced consultants who have not delivered.

I hope that the department implements fully the A-G’s recommendations to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and value for money when using consultants.